Citroën has officially revealed the production version of its latest C segment entrant – the new C4 Cactus.
A welcome and somewhat unusual surprise is that the production model bears a very close resemblance to the Citroën Cactus concept, which was unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Although the floating quarter-lights and floating roof are gone (they are retained visually but not architecturally through the use of coloured body panels), the production car carries many of the original concept car’s visual features – from the frontal light signature to the Airbump protection on the sides and even the enlarged panoramic glazed roof at the top.
The new Airbump technology is unique to Citroën and aims to combine style and practicality. Fitted to the sides of the car and the bumpers, Airbump adds a graphic structure to the bodylines and provides added protection, as the TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) skin comprises air capsules to absorb impacts. Airbump requires no specific maintenance and directly contributes to cutting vehicle repair costs, says Citroën.
The panoramic sunroof features advanced heat protection, which Citroën claims is currently the best available on the market. With protection equivalent to category-4 sunglasses, the sunroof provides protection from UV rays, while light, heat and acoustic protection eliminates the need to fit a sunblind. As a result, vehicle weight is reduced by 6kg and weight distribution is also improved as the centre of gravity is lowered.
Other weight reduction methods that have been adopted include the use of smaller engines, which help to reduce fuel consumption. The new model weighs 965kg, 200kg less overall compared with a Citroën C4, a reduction achieved through the use of a more compact, lightweight platform that incorporates aluminium front and rear beams. External weight-reducing features include an aluminium bonnet and pop-out rear windows (-11kg).
As a result of the efforts made to optimise weight, Citroën says it has been able to reduce the overall running costs of the Cactus by almost 20% compared with similar-sized hatchbacks. The petrol version emits under 100g/km of CO2 and a diesel version emits 82g/km with fuel consumption of 91.1mpg.
Dimensionally, the car has an overall length of 4.16m, a width of 1.73m, and a height of 1.48m. The car’s profile in terms of styling incorporates 1/3 glazed areas and 2/3 side panels. The Cactus has a 2.60m wheelbase (equivalent to a Citroën C4) placing the emphasis on space.
On the inside, the car gets a low dashboard, with horizontal lines, which Citroën designers say creates more space for the front passenger and offers more accessible storage. This result was achieved by adopting a fully-digital interface and optimising the dashboard layout.
The reconfigured interior layout includes ‘Airbag In Roof’ technology that involves transferring the passenger airbag to the roof and deploying it over the windscreen, rather than positioning it in the dashboard. In the centre, conventional control buttons have been replaced by a 7-inch touchscreen, grouping together all the main vehicle functions (including the air conditioning, media, navigation, vehicle settings, telephone, connectivity and driving aids). The traditional instrument cluster has also been been replaced by a digital screen.
Additionally, on Efficient Tronic Gearbox (ETG) versions, the gear lever is replaced by an ‘Easy Push’ system. This function comprises a ‘Drive, Neutral, Reverse’ (D,N,R) selection control on the lower fascia and steering wheel paddles to allow the driver to change gears manually.
As part of this new interior architecture, the wide front seats are designed in the style of a sofa, to create a more ‘domestic’ ambience in the cabin.
In the rear, passenger legroom is similar to that of the Citroën C4. With an equivalent wheelbase, the Cactus provides the same amount of space, but with more compact exterior dimensions. Boot capacity is 358-litres.